Ever have one of those days? You know what I mean, when everything goes wrong and you just feel like crawling back into bed for ten days? The kind of days where even the best coffee can’t make even a bit of difference, because you know eventually the caffeine is going to wear off and you’re just going to feel exactly the same way?
Yeah, I’ve definitely been there. More often than I’d like to admit.
They call it a slump, or a valley, even a wilderness period. It’s a time of perpetual waiting, when nothing’s exactly quite right, and it’s not as bad as it could possibly end up, but it certainly isn’t great, or even good—or even OK.
I’m come to realize lately that these times are another form of spiritual warfare. And I’m choosing to see them as a test.
Spiritual warfare—the ongoing battle between good and evil—is a very real thing. As the apostle Peter reminds us, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NIV).
Sometimes spiritual warfare can be really, really obvious—a huge catastrophe, a major life-shaking temptation, a horrible health diagnosis, where the sky falls and it’s full-on obvious.
But there is also a sneaky kind of warfare. It trickles in and plays with your head a little bit, like that awful, toxic, manipulative person you finally woke up and realized you needed to get out of your life.
It’s like a cloud of gloom—not necessarily a true depression, but a crushing weight that has settled over your life for whatever reason and you’re stuck in the middle, feeling powerless to fight it and just praying for it to pass.
The thing I’ve realized is that you can fight it—with God. Just because it’s sneaky and not earth-shattering doesn’t mean it’s not warfare.
Ephesians 6:11, which is the inspiration for this coffee company ministry, but also our personal battle cry for life, is what I’m talking about here.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes,” the apostle Paul urged the early church in Ephesus, knowing full well they were going through some really serious stuff: persecution, arrest, torture, death, you name it.
Then Paul went on to describe this armor and what we should do with it:
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:14-17 NIV).
Righteousness, faith, the Gospel, the promise of salvation, and the Holy Spirit—those are our weapons. And we unlock these weapons in a variety of ways:
• By not just reading the Word of God, the Bible, but by knowing it fully—by hiding the word in our hearts, as Psalm 119:11 says.
• With prayer
• Through worship
• In authentic Christian fellowship
When we’re faced with spiritual warfare, whether it’s life-threatening or mood-crushing, we have weapons in our war room we can use to fight the evil at our door. Let’s use them.
After all, just because it isn’t dramatic doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of a God-fight.
See you next week! Until then, stay armored up.